THE political roller coaster continues, purportedly in search of political change that will bring stability to our brutally troubled country and the economy.
By Tapiwa Gomo
It would seem that, over the past two decades, we have prioritised politics over the economy to the extent that we put aside addressing the economy to focus on addressing the political situation.
We are like that proverbial farmer, who abandoned farming to chase away baboons that stole his crop.
We forgot that the economy and development we inherited from the settlers in 1980 was not, in the first place, built by politicians, but investors, most of whom later became politicians, specifically to protect their economic interests.
The scramble for Africa in the 1890s was less about political gains, but more about economic growth in Europe.
European countries had learnt that politics that is not sustained by a strong economy does not make them strong politically.
Politics that does not prioritise the economy is politics of hunger, destitution and autocracy.
The last 20 years have demonstrated that politics does not bring food to the table, but the economy does.
Politics will continue to divide us but only a functioning economy can bring us together.
As our politics have shown, we have become incapable of uniting and working together.
Both the ruling and opposition parties have continued to split and multiply.
No one wants to be led as every politician wants to lead.
As more parties are formed, the more we are divided, polarised and unstable.
We face a huge deficit of citizens, who are patriotic to the country and who stand for development of the nation.
Our national pride will never come from our politics, but from better living conditions of our people.
The past two decades have shown us how the situation can change for the worst if a politician wields more power over everything and everyone else.
Players in the economy left us as they fled with their capital.
That politics has been the bane of our economy is, perhaps, yet to dawn on us.
The loss of two decades left us aged and empty of hope.
Time continues to be lost, as people patiently wait for change.
There is a generation that knows no better Zimbabwe.
I recently wrote arguing that our inconclusive elections have been our biggest undoing and sadly that continues.
Zimbabwe, as it looks today, is indeed an outcome of our thinking and out politics.
Our situation cannot be changed unless we change that thinking and our politics.
Do we really love this country?
Maybe the people who have suffered many years of hopelessness do.
If we all do, why can we not put aside our political differences just for one term and unite and work towards re-establishing our economy?
Do people enter politics for the love of the country?
If so, why then is it that since they took over the country, it is yet to see a good day?
Why are the number of politicians growing everyday instead of investors?
Has politics become more lucrative than investment?
Why are some of our businesspeople leaving business to join politics?
It would seem that for those who enter politics, Zimbabwe to them, is like that cow whose feeding trough is empty and yet they continue to milk it while its calf is locked away starving.
He who is milking such a cow would hate to see change.
Individualism is dividing us and continues to perpetuate corruption and greed to the extent that anyone who gets into power pursues personal interests ahead of national interests.
The ideals and values that underpinned the struggle for independence have been eroded by the love for wealth.
The Zimbabwean, who used to love the country, is fast vanishing.
The Zimbabwean, who sacrificed their lives and that of their children and future generations, has left us.
A new era of change is needed — one that seeks to change the mindset and bring back the lost Zimbabwean to rebuild the country.
We want back that Zimbabwean, who believes that the only way we can develop is if we unite.
The only way that we can unite is when we can change our political attitude and prioritise peace and development and submit to national values.
The only way that we can change is if we learn that politics, while vital, is never going to be our solution to instability and economy.
Something needs to give somewhere somehow.
The only way we can demonstrate that we have learnt is if we allow the country to heal and map a way forward.
Doing so is not legitimising autocracy, injustice and unfairness, but prioritising peace and stability while noting that that age is catching up with those who run the autocratic system and that nature is taking care of some of the stumbling blocks to achieving our dream democracy one by one.
That the system has seemingly become immune to electoral defeat simply means expecting change through an electoral process is a futile venture.
While we cannot give up or compromise on democracy, we need our economy back to sustain our pursuit for democracy.
Tapiwa Gomo is a development consultant based in Pretoria, South Africa